After five days of trading on the ASX, Shine Lawyers’ share price has jumped from its $1.00 issue price to $1.45 (close 21/5/13). This price represents a market valuation for the company of $224.75 million.
Since listing, 16.4 million shares have been traded. The $1.45 share price represents an increase in market capitalisation of $69.75 million compared to the share issue price of $1.00.
According to the prospectus, forecast revenue for 2013/14 is $114.8 million. Expected revenue for 2012/13 is $101.7 million.
In the balance sheet, WIP and unbilled disbursements were $133 million as at December 2012. The firm currently employs approximately 600 staff.
By comparison Slater & Gordon employs 1,600 staff. Its expected revenue is $290 million for 2012/13 and its market capitalisation is currently close to $582 million.
21 May 2013 - 2013/14 Immigration Planning Levels to Continue at Record Highs
Since February 2013 there has been a public debate about a tightening up of the 457 Visa requirements following a statement by the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.
The Minister has announced immigration planning levels for 2013/14.
The planning level for skilled migrants is to be almost unchanged (700 fewer). Australia's migration program will be maintained at 190,000 places in 2013-14 which is exactly the same number that was planned for 2012-13. It seems that the recent burst of politics and public debate has resulted in no material changes to planned migration levels.
17 May 2013 - New Website for Betting on the Outcome of Court Judgments
A new website called Judgment Forecasts has been launched where you can bet on the outcome of court judgments, but not with real money.
It is not only about the thrill of trying to become a play-money millionaire. It is also about engaging in online discussions and interacting with other participants.
Build a reputation. Brag about your winning streak to workmates and partners. For a law firm it has the potential to be more relevant, fun and educational than a footy tipping competition.
The website is in its early days and is still in the process of building a critical mass of participants. Its creator is Michael Gordon-Smith. Legal Practice Intelligence asked Mr Gordon-Smith about his background and why he started the website.
Michael Gordon-Smith responded:
“I'm not a lawyer, but I spent seven years as a regulator on the Australian Broadcasting Authority and Australian Communications Authority, and became interested in the way the law is managed and the way in which lawyers communicate about uncertainty to decision makers in a way that helps them make choices.
“I've been interested in prediction markets for a decade or two, since reading about the pioneering work of the Iowa Electronic Markets, even before their popularisation in The Wisdom of Crowds.”
Judgment Forecasts is an entirely free service. Where it will lead for Michael Gordon-Smith and for those who participate in it is open for prediction.
15 May 2013 - New Research on Lawyer Working Hours and Job Satisfaction
7 May 2013 - Slater & Gordon to Acquire Three UK Law Firms and Raise $63.9 million Additional Equity
Click above image to read article
6 May 2013 - Conveyancing Up in South Australia
Conveyancing activity is up in South Australia but it's not all good news. For the January to March 2013 period, property transfers were up 2.78% compared to the equivalent months of 2012. This coincides with an increase in Adelaide dwelling prices in the month of April 2013 of 2.85%. In April 2013 Adelaide was the only State capital with an increase in dwelling values.
WA and SA were the bright spots in our recent review of conveyancing activity across the five mainland States. Unfortunately the positive result for South Australia property transfers reflects a weakening up-trend. For the six month to March 2013 the increase was 4.32% compared to a year ago. Therefore the 2.78% increase over the most recent three months reflects a weakening positive trend.
3 May 2013 - Conveyancing Down in Victoria and Up in WA
Victoria stood out in 2012, compared to NSW and Queensland, by not getting a bounce in property sales volumes in the declining interest rate environment. With a pause in further interest rate reductions, property sales volumes in Victoria have gone from bad to worse.
For the January to March 2013 period, property transfers were down 6% compared to the equivalent months of 2012. Compared to the equivalent months of 2011 they were down by 12%.
It appears to be negative news for NSW (see below), Victoria and Queensland. In search of some good news we again turn to WA. For the three months January to March 2013 property transfers were up 7% compared to the equivalent months of 2012 and up 13% compared to 2011.
2 May 2013 - NSW Conveyancing Volumes Going Backwards Again
Property transfers in NSW were down 7% for the three months January to March 2013 compared to the equivalent months of 2012. What is even more worrying is that property transfers were lower than in 2011 (equivalent months) by 5%. 2011 was a low point in property sales volumes until interest rate reductions in October 2011.
January and March 2013 property transfers were down 1.35% and 3.01% respectively compared to the equivalent months of 2012. February 2013 was down by a dramatic 14.48%. As the prospect of further interest rate cuts diminished, property sales volumes reduced.
Sydney dwelling values declined 0.5% over April 2013 pointing to further weakness ahead in sales volumes. The last interest rate cut was in December 2012 and the downward movements since October 2011 appear to have run out of steam in terms of their impact on property prices and sales activity.
27 April 2013 - LegalVision Launches $299.95 Document Review
CLICK IMAGETO READ MORE
22 April 2013 - Research On Size of Market for Family Law Legal Services
19 April 2013 - Thousands of Lawyers and Conveyancers to Attend e-Conveyancing Seminars
With registration numbers increasing on a daily basis, so far more than 2,000 lawyers and conveyancers have registered to attend e-Conveyancing information seminars.
The seminars are being held over the next seven weeks in multiple locations across New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. There is a separate schedule of live webinars for those unable to attend an event.
The degree of interest by the law firm and conveyancing community to find out more about e-Conveyancing has been described as "remarkable" by Stephen Wood, CEO of InfoTrack. InfoTrack is one of three authorised service partners for the e-Conveyancing platform.
Marcus Price, NECDL CEO, stated "we're delighted to be partnering with InfoTrack and participating in these seminars, informing practitioners about the future with regards to e-Conveyancing".
Some of the seminars being held in the Sydney and Melbourne CBDs are already fully booked, having reached capacity with 300 registered attendees. Additional seminars are being arranged to accommodate the demand.
Stephen Wood says that he is witnessing a complete turnaround in attitude of practitioners towards e-Conveyancing. The shift is from a scepticism that it won't happen in their lifetime to one of acceptance that they need to get prepared for the start of the new system.
The seminars will include brief formal presentations by representatives of NECDL, InfoTrack and LEAP Conveyancer. However the longest session will be an open Q&A in which attendees will be able to ask questions about the new e-Conveyancing system.
18 April 2013 - Recorded Rates of Crime at Decade Lows
The NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research has released its report for 2012. Access the report here.
Don Weatherburn: Recorded Crime 2012 Media Release 17 April 2013
16 April 2013 - A Plan to Avoid a Wipe-Out of Legal Rights Under The NSW CTP Insurance Scheme
13 April 2013 - Shine Lawyers to Raise $45 million in a Public Float
click above image to read more
10 April 2013 - Social Media in Law – Take Ownership or Risk the Consequences
"there remains no industry-wide guidelines in place detailing how Australian legal professionals should use social media" Read more
8 April 2013 - Australian Housing Market Update
More positive news for conveyancers
8 April 2013 - Another Unhappy Client Suffering From Time-Based Billing
This is a picture of a not-happy client suffering from time-based billing going off the rails. Read more
3 April 2013 - E-Conveyancing Integration Partners Announced
"An update from NECDL CEO Marcus Price
On behalf of National Electronic Conveyancing Development Limited (NECDL) I’m pleased to announce our intention to work with GlobalX Information, InfoTrack and SAI Global in delivering electronic conveyancing to the Australian property market.
These three information brokers represent 90% of the practitioner market, which will ensure fast and effective uptake of all electronic settlements.
Through our conversations with practitioners and our new partners, it became clear that an end-to-end property settlement solution would provide the most benefit to the industry, with the least upheaval. Each of our partners are market leading information brokers who also integrate into various Conveyancing software solutions, so it makes sense to integrate Australia’s new property exchange, PEXA, into those existing platforms.
Our key objective is to provide the greatest benefit to the practitioner by allowing data to be transmitted between applications and removing the need to rekey information. By accessing PEXA through our integration partners it will also mean that billing and customer account information will be consolidated. There will also be the ability to capture disbursements to ensure efficient billing of clients.
PEXA supports the exchange of property through the ability to perform lodgements and property settlements online in a simple transaction. This includes new mortgages, mortgage discharges, transfers, settlements, refinancing, caveats and notices in one easy to use, intuitive electronic platform.
In short, the PEXA subscriber (practitioners) will open an online workspace where the Registry documents and settlement schedule are created and information is shared with all parties to the transaction. Once preparation is complete and the settlement date and time is reached, PEXA will automatically lodge documents with the Land Registry, exchange loan funds and pay stamp duty and other third party beneficiaries meaning no more bank cheques and no more physical attendance required at settlement.
Practitioners are also welcome to access PEXA directly if they prefer and we will continue to announce further state-based partners over the coming months.
PEXA launches for banks and land registries this year and to practitioners either directly or via our integrated partners in 2014.
2 April 2013 - How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment
Professor Mark Kleiman of UCLA gave a presention at the Applied Research in Crime and Justice Conference in Sydney recently. For punishment to be more effective as a deterrent to crime, he stated the case that swiftness and certainty can be more important than severity. In a humorous aside, he proposes that it is harder to change the behaviour of judges than drug addicts.
26 March 2013 - Australian Home Owners Holding on to Their Homes for Longer
Click above to read article
22 March 2013 - Truman Hoyle Signs Cooperation Agreement with Bird & Bird
click above to read news
21 March 2013 - Melbourne's Personal Injury Law Show Now in its Twelfth Season
"The PI show is unlike any other law show seen before! This program focuses on educating the community about the legal rights of injured people across Victoria. The PI show explains to the masses what Personal Injury Law actually means and how anyone with a real claim can go about obtaining compensation for an injury. Hosted by experienced Melbourne lawyer, Tony Carbone, who has dedicated his life to representing real people with a real claim for over 20 years and in the process, has held people accountable for their actions!" (C31 website).
18 March 2013 - Recent Developments in the Housing Market
click image to read article
16 March 2013 - LawPath Offers a Path to New Clients
(above - part web page screen grab)
LawPath is a new start-up. It sells access to lawyers at fixed and discounted rates. Lawyers benefit by getting introductions to potential new clients.
For $49.00 per month, LawPath's customers can ask three questions per month and get 3 x 30 minutes on the phone with an Australian lawyer.
Without a monthly subscription plan, its customers can ask a single question and get 30 minutes on the phone with an Australian lawyer for a $29.00 one-off fee.
Outside of the 30 minute calls, lawyers agree to provide a discounted rate to LawPath referrals.
10 March 2013 - The Sinking Earnings Potential of Doing Work for Legal Aid NSW
click image below to read details
4 March 2013 - ALPMA Releases Results from FY12 Financial Performance Benchmarking Study
The Australian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA) today released the FY12 results of its national financial benchmarking study for law firms, conducted in partnership with Crowe Horwath Professional Practice Advisory.
The ALPMA Legal Industry Financial Performance Benchmarking Study, helps law firms benchmark their financial performance against their peers and gain a deep insight into the relative financial health of their practice. This year 95 firms from across Australia participated in the study.Read more
1 March 2013 - ILH Group Limited Half Year 2013 Results
ILH Group is an ASX listed provider of legal services. Its main trading entity is Rockwell Olivier which is a new trading name that is currently being adopted by ILH's existing member law firms. Revenue for the six months to December 2012 was $16 million, almost identical to the corresponding period of the previous year. The company has over 160 employees including 26 Principals and 80 other fee earners.
ILH's latest strategy has been to invest in part ownership of a law firm rather than acquiring the entire equity. The company has increased its borrowings in order to accomplish such an investment in Rockwell Bates.
click image to visit ILH's ASX announcements page
28 February 2013 - Strong Half Year Financial Results for S&G - Not a Problem
$145.7 million revenue for July to December 2012, with the UK business contributing $34.3 million.
Australian EBIT margin of 23.9% (UK 20.1%).
Challenges facing the firm include: increasing the profitability of non-personal injuries private client services, e.g. conveyancing and family law, and cash flow management. The 31 December 2012 balance sheet shows a slim cash balance at bank. At 30 June 2012 the firm had an unused bank facility of $48.5 million.
click below to view Investor Presentation
26 February 2013 - IMF Litigation Funder Half Year 2013 Results
IMF (Australia) Ltd has released its half year (July-Dec 2012) results. While revenue is down in the six months, more importantly, the company has a cash reserve of $70.9 million (as at 31 Dec 2012) to enable funding of future cases. Company announcements
25 February 2013 - Migration Agents To Feel Impact of Proposed Visa Reform
Employer sponsored migration is almost five times the level it was in 2003/04. However further growth is at risk based on statements by the Minister of Immigration and Citizenship.
Click above images for larger tables and notes
22 February 2013 - Future of the Delivery of Legal Services
*This conference has been postponed and will be rescheduled*
What will the delivery of legal services look like in five years time, ten years time or even next year?
No one can know the future but if there is a group of people qualified to make predictions it is probably the group that has been assembled to speak at SOLSC13. Why this group? Because they are already at the technological leading edge in their own fields, which includes: the delivery of legal services; practice management and internet marketing.
The Sinch Online Legal Services Conference (SOLSC) is an annual event that runs for one day. It is a fast-paced format with many speakers, each giving a short presentation. Overseas-based speakers typically give a slide presentation over the phone or via Skype.
Some of the headliners this year are:
Lachlan McKnight - CEO and Co-Founder of LegalVision;
Ted Jordan - CEO of ActionStep, a cloud-based legal practice management system;
Stephanie Kimbro - Attorney who operates a virtual law firm offering online-unbundled services as well as traditional representation in North Carolina and Ohio;
Leanne O'Donnell - A Senior Associate at Herbert Geer; tweeter at @HerbertGeerITC and @MsLods and
Andrew Rogers - of Foolkit and MinotaurLaw.
Find out more and register for SOLSC13 to be held on Friday 15 March 2013, Sydney CBD (attendees may be eligible to claim CLE points)
19 February 2013 - Motor Accident Victims Will Suffer Under NSW Government Plan
7 February 2013 - Ownership Changes at E-Conveyancing
Link Group invest in NECDL
National E-Conveyancing Development Limited (NECDL) is pleased to announce Link Group as a new shareholder in the company. Their investment was facilitated by Mark Dorney, Managing Director at Grant Samuel.
Link joins the Victorian, New South Wales, Western Australian and Queensland Governments as well as Australia’s largest banks as key financial stakeholders in NECDL; a company formed in 2010 to deliver a national electronic exchange and settlement solution to the Australian property industry.
NECDL is developing a platform known as PEXA (Property Exchange Australia) that removes the manual processes and paperwork associated with the exchange of property by allowing Land Registries, Financial Institutions and Practitioners to transact together, online, for the first time.
John McMurtrie, MD of Link Group said “We have been impressed with the progress of NECDL under the leadership of the Board and senior management and we believe that we can provide good support to NECDL as they enter the transaction phase”.
Link Group operates a Share Registry business, Superannuation Administration and Shareholder and Member Analytics services. Western Australia’s Landgate has also significantly increased its shareholding in NECDL.
Landgate Chief Executive Mike Bradford said “Landgate’s further investment is in recognition of the importance of this national conveyancing reform initiative and the very good progress being made by NECDL towards the full implementation of e-conveyancing. It also means we can continue to drive effective reform that meets the needs of the West Australian community”.
Alan Cameron, Chairman of NECDL, welcomed Link Group to the company. “My fellow directors and I are delighted by the strong support for the company's latest fundraising. We welcome the increased investment by Landgate, as well as Macquarie Capital and our senior staff, but especially welcome Link Group as a major new strategic investor. We look forward to working closely together”.
6 February 2013 - House Price Movements are an Indicator of Conveyancing Activity
Our analysis of the property market over the last few years has shown that the volume of sales, and prices changes, move in the same direction. Property sales volumes increase when property prices are rising. Sales volumes decrease when property prices are falling.
The ABS released the above house price statistics yesterday. We believe that the Quarterly % change chart provides a reasonable proxy for sales activity. Darwin, Perth and Sydney are likely to be having the healthiest growth in conveyancing activity at present.
Do sales volumes increase because prices are increasing or do prices increase because sales volumes are increasing? We prefer the former theory. People like to buy in a rising market because whatever they buy will increase in value quicker. Conversely, buyers don't like to buy in a market when prices are falling.
Had the RBA reduced interest rates this month it probably would have sealed a tremendous year for the property market. Nonetheless, we believe that there's no reason to be pessimistic yet.
3 February 2013 - Call For Legal Secretaries to Attend First Meeting of Proposed New Association
1 February 2013 - Conveyancing Volumes Strongly Up in WA and Flat in SA
Calendar 2012 could be characterised as a year of strong growth in the volume of property transfers in WA compared to 2011. For SA, property transfer numbers in 2012 continued to skirt along the bottom at similar levels to 2011. Perhaps 2013 will be the year that SA conveyancing starts to move up.
We examined the number of property transfers for each individual month of December over the last six years for both WA and SA. The graphs tell the story.
27 January 2013 - Slater & Gordon Opens New Office in Tamworth NSW with a Free Wills Promotion
Excerpted from the official announcement:
Leading Australian law firm Slater & Gordon has opened its doors in Tamworth with local lawyer David Allen returning to town to lead the office.
To celebrate the opening of the new permanent office a community information day will be held on February 9, with Slater & Gordon offering Tamworth residents the opportunity to receive a free standard Will or Power of Attorney service.
The new Tamworth office will be led by local lawyer David Allen, who was born in Tamworth and grew up in the region.
“My goal with this new office is to combine ‘big city’ expertise with ‘country town’ personal service,” Mr Allen said.
“It was paramount we service the city of Tamworth and its surrounding communities as the capital of the New England North West. I have grown up in this region and understand the issues that local workers and their families face in tough times.
“I look forward to meeting everyone at the community information day.”
24 January 2013 - Insurance Company Profits Have Priority
NSW Compulsory Third Party (CTP) insurance premiums are already more than $500.00 and are being increased again. How much are legal costs to blame?
The NSW Finance Minister Greg Pearce has been quoted as saying:
"The biggest problem with the scheme at the moment is the administration costs and the costs going on disputes and legal expenses."
The president of the Law Society of NSW John Dobson says that "the real reason why insurers want to increase CTP premiums is the downturn in investment returns for private insurers on the overseas financial markets, not the primary cost drivers of the CTP system."
“For more than a decade the insurance industry has been hoodwinking the government into premium increases that have largely gone in increased profits, and it looks like they have done it again.
“In its first ten years of operation the CTP scheme generated average profit for insurers of 20 per cent of all premiums paid."
22 January 2013 - Gadens Brisbane Office to Merge with MacGillivrays
Read more by clicking each image below
22 January 2013 - Where Have All The Lawyers Gone?
In December of last year the Australian Financial Review (AFR) produced statistics showing significant declines in the number of employed fee earners in the largest law firms. The AFR looked at figures since July 2012. It also reported a decline in partner numbers over calendar 2012.
Data from the Law Society of NSW provides some clues:
(six months period 2 May to 2 November 2012)
The middle group (5-20 partner firms) grew at the fastest rate i.e. 6.42% over six months but in terms of the total number of solicitors, it is still the smallest group.
Where have all the lawyers gone? The above figures provide evidence that they have gone to smaller firms. They have also gone in-house. In-house corporate and government lawyer numbers grew by 264 (NSW) representing a growth rate of 3.52% over the 12 month period to November 2012.
17 January 2013 - A Law Firm That Is Changing Perceptions About The Legal Profession
click image above to read more
11 January 2013 - Legal Sector Job Vacancies - Predictions for 2013
The Australian Bureau of Statistics recently released its job advertisement series for the whole economy showing that job vacancies were down 6.8% in November 2012 compared to November 2011. Private sector job vacancies were down 4.4% and the public sector down 29.5%. Read more
7 January 2013 - Law Council of Australia Agenda for 2013 Plus Meet the New President